The Bar: International Lounge
The Address 27 Pleasant Street
The Day and the Time Saturday at 10:40
The Story: I don’t know what I walked into. I am still not quite sure. But the world is richer for all the uncertainty.
It was on Pleasant Street, in the location where a night club called Red was. But Red isn’t there anymore. It was empty for quite some time, like many of the husks of nightclub greatness past that Pleasant Street now is. A grave patch of former drinking. There stands still the empty Tammany Hall. and other bars and attractions that now have grown fallow, like alcoholic cranbery bogs. A couple years ago this location was reanimated into a hookah bar and restaurant. It gave up the ghost last year.
Driving by on Saturday, heading toward another bar I needed to go to for this tour, I saw the sign International Lounge like I have seen for some time, but this time the light was on, people were milling out by the door. I found a parking spot and walked in. It was a good sized brick wall rectangle. There were sofas and chairs and people milling about. It seemed like most of the people were Spanish speakers.
In the back of the room was a bar like formation and I headed toward that, which is always good advice when entering a new location: head for the bar like thing. On approaching a young woman came up and smiled. “Hey,” she said, “You here for a drink or to meet someone?”
I looked around, “For a drink if that’s okay.”
She smiled again. “Absolutely, we have Bud Light and uh, yeah, we have wine if you want wine.”Alright, the place was brand new and maybe didn’t have their full liquor license, maybe they weren’t even trying for it and just happy with beer and wine. I knew this wasn’t a true stop on this Gin and Tonic tour (a pretender to the crown) but it is beyond rude to turn around and leave. I said, “That would be great, could I have a Budweiser.”
She smiled and said, “Bud Light.”
I stopped myself from giggling. “Sure, Bud Light please.” I got my cold bottle of something I don’t usually drink and paid three bucks for the privilege. I stood by the wall looking as insignificant as possible. I drank quickly. At the tables were couples mostly. The women were dressed fancy for the night out. The men were young and muscular. I was done in three minutes.
On leaving, I saw they had a sandwich board outside inviting people in for the grand opening. Well, look at me, such a glamorous trendsetter.
I don’t know if they will have a liquor license. I don’t know if there name is the International Lounge or that they didn’t get a chance to take the old sign down. I don’t know who will take this place as their own, call it their local hangout. I don’t know if I should include this in these tour notes because my time in this place was under five minutes